Money On The Sidelines

"Yesterday Was A Once-In-A-Decade Sort Of Day For The S&P 500"

"I certainly see parallels to 2007 – particularly in the way risk and hedging are discussed... the similarities of financial engineering between then and now – primarily a shift towards correlation and volatility trading – away from ‘directional’ trading and the advent of ‘low vol products’ designed to be leveraged..."

The Blow-Off Top Is Here: Second Largest Weekly Inflows To Wall Street In History

For confirmation that the market is now in its "blow off top" phase, look no further than the latest BofA "flow show" in which Michael Hartnett reports that capital markets just saw their biggest week of equity inflows since the US election ($24.6bn), another chunky inflow to bonds ($9.0bn), which combines to "the second largest week of inflows to Wall Street ever (largest was $35.5bn in Dec'2014)."

Breaking The Correlation Curse

The “Curse of Correlation” may have finally met its match. The President-Elect’s proposed policies break so completely with the last 8 post-Crisis years that investors are re-evaluating everything from the trajectory of long term interest rates to which sectors stand to benefit the most under a Trump presidency.

 

Stocks Near All Time High Despite 16 Straight Week Of US Mutual Fund Outflows, Historic "Redemption Day"

The new normal sure is strange: with the S&P flirting with all time highs, not to mention staging another dramatic V-shaped comeback from the post-Brexit crash which saw S&P futures trade limit down a week ago, investors keep on selling. According to Lipper data, U.S.-based stock mutual funds, which are held by retail mom-and-pop investors, posted cash withdrawals of $2.8 billion over the weekly period ended Wednesday; this was the 16th consecutive week of outflows.

BofA Saw Record "Buying Across The Board" Last Week, Just Before The Market Resumed Sliding

Llast week, during which the S&P 500 was up 0.9% as the market rebounded off of Tuesday’s lows, BofAML clients were net buyers of $5.6bn of US stocks—the biggest inflow in our data history (since ’08) following five weeks of selling. The last time  flows were close to these levels was during the (less extreme) volatility in early January of this year, as well as following the Tech/Biotech sell-off in early 2014 (see chart below). Net buying last week was broad based—while no client group saw record flows relative to its own history, hedge funds, institutional clients and private clients were all big net buyers which led to record inflows when combined.

How The Fed And Wall Street Are Eating Their Seed Corn

What both Wall Street in general as well as the Federal Reserve has wrought is a market so adulterated, so anemic, and so mistrusted the euphemistic “money on the sidelines” has more in common with nursery rhymes than it does with anything reality based. There is no money on the sidelines. Nobody wants “in” to this market. Anyone with half a brain and a modicum of common sense wants out – and the outflow numbers show it still to be true.

These Are The 50 Top Hedge Fund Long And Short Positions

At the end of every quarter there is a scramble by the financial public to peek at what the biggest hedge fund holdings were as of 45 days ago. And yet, one wonders why: as Goldman notes, "the low dispersion market continues to challenge stock-pickers as the average hedge fund lags the S&P 500 for the seventh straight year (2% vs. 4% YTD)." In fact, even the barbarous relic known as gold has outperformed the average hedge fund YTD. Then again, as we have said since 2012, the only informational value comes not from looking at hedge fund longs, but their biggest shorts, since short squeezes remain perhaps the only source of major outperformance. So for all those curious, here are the biggest hedge fund shorts as of March 31, 2015.

The Lack Of Volume Is Deafening

We know, we know... volume doesn't matter... but if "There Is No Alternative" and there is mountains of "money on the sidelines" then why is average trade size plunging (cough algos cough) and volume collapsing in lockstep with each and every new record high in stocks?